MEXICO CITY: 27 November 2014 — As the automotive marketplace in Mexico evolves, including a maintenance package with a vehicle purchase—a practice commonplace in the United States—and providing superior customer service has created a solid foundation to help increase customer loyalty and brand retention, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Mexico Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction StudySM (VOSS).
The study evaluates vehicle ownership satisfaction with October 2011 through September 2013 model-year vehicles, representing an ownership period of approximately 8-34 months. Overall satisfaction is determined by evaluating owner experiences in four measures (in order of importance): vehicle appeal (66%); vehicle quality and reliability (16%); ownership costs (12%); and dealership service (6%) which includes maintenance packages. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Included vehicle-maintenance packages (e.g., free oil and oil filter changes, tire rotations, multi-point vehicle inspections, brake pads replacement, etc.) have emerged in the Mexico automotive market during the last several years, especially for premium vehicles. The duration of these packages is typically the first three years of vehicle ownership—or a maximum of 60,000 kilometers driven—depending on the vehicle brand and its maintenance program. Included service packages help drive vehicle owners to return to their authorized dealer for service, which tends to increase their familiarity with dealership personnel and with the dealership’s service process. This familiarity—and the free service—can help engender trust in the dealership from customers.
“Included maintenances packages have become a gateway to increasing customer satisfaction, loyalty and brand retention,” said Gerardo Gomez, director and country manager at J.D. Power de México. “With each maintenance visit, dealership personnel have an opportunity to build a relationship based on trust with customers. Meeting key service metrics—such as communicating clearly about the work needed to be performed and delivering the vehicle when promised—are influential in improving overall customer satisfaction.”
- Included maintenance programs are taking hold in Mexico’s premium vehicle segment. More than one-half (52%) of premium vehicle owners indicate that maintenance is included in their vehicle purchase/lease.
- Among premium vehicle owners with a maintenance program included in their vehicle purchase,
43 percent say they “definitely will” return to the dealership for service, compared with premium vehicle owners that pay for a maintenance package who say the same (68%).
- One-half (50%) of vehicle owners previously owned the same vehicle make. Overall, satisfaction among vehicle owners who repurchased the same make is higher (885) across all measures, compared with those who did not repurchase (874). Notably, satisfaction in the vehicle appeal measure is highest(896) among vehicle owners who repurchased and is lower (9 points) among those who did not repurchase (887). The largest gap in satisfaction (15 points) between those who purchased (822) and with those who did not (807) is with cost of ownership. There is a 10 point gap in satisfaction with dealership service (871 purchased vs. 861 did not purchase).
- Meeting service key performance indicators (KPIs) can have significant impact on satisfaction. When a customer receives an explanation of charges after the service is completed, satisfaction can increase by up to 114 points. Dealers who deliver the vehicle when promised can improve satisfaction by up to 103 points. When dealers explain what work needed to be completed, satisfaction can increase by up to 71 points.
- As fuel costs continue to rise in Mexico, the most important reason influencing vehicle selection is fuel efficiency (19%); followed by exterior styling (15%); interior comfort (8%); performance handling (7%); and reliability/durability (7%).
According to Gomez, the automotive landscape in Mexico is changing. Over time, vehicle owners in Mexico place higher importance on vehicle design, appeal, quality, dependability, and customer service, along with the cost of ownership. “J.D. Power will no longer focus its research in Mexico solely on vehicle ownership satisfaction, but will expand its studies in the country to include a Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study to capture the voice of today’s customer,” said Gomez.
Toyota receives three model awards for owner satisfaction in three of the 11 award segments, more than any other manufacturer this year. Nissan receives two model awards, while BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and MINI each receive one award.
The 2014 Mexico Vehicle Ownership Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 5,850 vehicle owners who made their purchases between October 2011 and September 2013, Respondents were interviewed in Mexico’s largest auto markets—Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Querétaro, Puebla, and Merida—and were asked to evaluate their experiences during an approximate period of eight to 34 months of ownership.
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